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India

Educating Adivasi: The Side Effects Of School For India's Indigenous

“Why do we want to fit everyone in our narrative of what is civilized?...'

Young girls returning from school near Singari village
Young girls returning from school near Singari village
Parul Abrol

RAYAGADA DISTRICT — After graduating from high school, 17-year-old Khirot Kutruka might pursue a university degree. But eventually he says his plans are to return to the fields where he grew up. Part of the Kondh Indigenous People from the Rayagada district of India's eastern state of Odisha, Kutruka commutes every day seven kilometers from his village, Goelkona, to attend school in a neighboring town.

Thin, short and quiet, Kutruka is one of the district's numerous tribal people — Adivasi, as they are known in India — getting a public school education because of the state government's efforts to promote the ‘mainstreaming" of Adivasi children. He studies English, history, political science and economics — subjects that have little to do with his life in the village. A single teacher instructs a class of 350 students, 44% of whom are Kondh. The remainder are Dalits — the so-called untouchables who are at the bottom of the Hindu caste system. The relatively well-off upper-class Odiya students attend private school, and relocate to the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh for college.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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